Stevie Wonder will sing at the Detroit?s Ford Field stadium as part of a 40-day observance of the 40th anniversary of the city?s deadly 1967 riots, according to a media report. The observance will remember the five days of rioting in 1967 that killed 43 people, injured hundreds and marked a key juncture in Detroit?s five-decade decline from an industrial giant of about two million people to an impoverished city of about 900,000. Wonder?s concert is scheduled for July 27, 2007, The Detroit News reported Friday. ?It?s much more than an event,? said Russ Russell from the Salvation Army of Southeastern Michigan, which is among the groups organising the observance. ?It?s about a place in time where we can turn riots into redemption.? The riots accelerated white suburban flight from what then was a majority white city. Today, about 80% of Detroit residents are black. Gospel singer Kirk Franklin also has committed to perform, and organisers told Detroit News they were working to get other big-name entertainers.
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